Thus, it’s likely that Bonds, Clemens and Sosa will be disappointed, as well — at least this year.
The shame of it is that Bonds and Clemens, at least, were Hall of Famers before they ever were tempted by steroids. It’s said that Bonds, though perhaps the best all-around player in the game at the time, felt diminished in the public’s mind by 60-homer exploits of McGwire and Sosa and was seduced into believing he had to beef up to be elevated to iconic status.
He beefed up, all right. Even his hat size appeared to increase.
The shame of steroid use is not just in the violation of strict baseball rules — a la Pete Rose, another Hall of Fame would-be. It is in the devastation it has done to something baseball has always cherished: its records. Baseball is a game of legendary numbers.
For decades, 50 home runs in a year and 500 in a lifetime, for example, were measures of superstardom. Not any more.
For that, Bonds, Clemens, et. al. must pay the price.